Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kansas - #34, January 29, 1861

Spanish conquistadors and French explorers were the first Westerners to travel Kansas - Coronado in 1541 and Sieur de la Salle in 1682.  The land that became Kansas was ceded to Spain by France in 1763, briefly returned to France in 1800 and became part of the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  In addition to Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike and Stephen H. Long also explored the region in the early 19th Century.  The first permanent settlements in Kansas were outposts, Fort Leavenworth (1827), Fort Scott (1842), and Fort Riley (1853), which were established to protect travelers along the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.  In the years leading up to the Civil War, conflict between the pro- and anti-slavery forces earned the region the grim title of Bleeding Kansas.

Kansas is best known today as an agricultural force and the landscape features wheat fields, oil-well derricks, herds of cattle, and grain-storage elevators.  The state is also a leader in petroleum production and the nation's leading producer of helium. Wichita is one of the nation's leading aircraft-manufacturing centers, ranking first in production of private aircraft.

Kansas also boasts a presidential birthplace - Dwight Eisenhower was born in the state and his boyhood home and presidential library is located in Abilene.

The current Governor of  is Republican (and former Senator) Sam Brownback.  Both Senators for Kansas are Republicans, Jerry Moran (who is Jerry Moran?) and Pat Roberts as are the four members of the Congressional delegation.
  • State Capital - Topeka
  • Largest city - Wichita
  • Date of Admission - January 29, 1861
  • Area - 82,277 sq mi (15th) 
  • Population (2011 est.) - 2,871,238 (33rd) 
  • State Motto - "Ad astra per aspera" "To the stars through difficulties" 
  • State Nickname - The Sunflower State, The Jayhawk State
  • State animal - buffalo
  • State bird - Western meadowlark
  • State flower - sunflower (look, it's right there on the flag)
  • State tree - cottonwood
  • State song - Home on the Range (see also below)
  • State University - The University of Kansas ("This is Lawrence.  This is Lawrence, Kansas.  Is there anybody there?  Anybody at all?" - name that apocalyptic, groundbreaking movie)
  • Kansas State Archives (part of the KHS)
  • The Kansas Historical Society 
Prominent Kansans - (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blackberry Buttermilk Snacking Cake

I love blackberries.  There's usually buttermilk in the house.  Mrs. BA likes to bake.  This could happen.  From the Amateur Gourmet, who got it from a recent Food and Wine.

Blackberry Buttermilk Snacking Cake
Summary: Based on a recipe in the August 2012 issue of Food & Wine

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature 
  • 1 1/4 cups blackberries, plus more for serving 
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving 
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper (I used a non-stick spray).

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk and dry ingredients in 3 alternating batches, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overbeat. Gently fold the batter just until blended, then scrape into the pan and smooth the top.

Scatter the 1 1/4 cups of blackberries over the batter; lightly press them in. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over the cake. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out the cake and remove the paper. Turn the cake right side up and let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream and more blackberries.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oregon - #33, February 14, 1859

For the Beaver State - you get two flag images - because Oregon is the only state in the union that has something different on the reverse - an image of the beaver, the state animal!

They say that Virginia is for lovers - but Oregon was actually admitted to the Union on Valentine's Day, it must have been really loved by the US!

The state of Oregon was "discovered" by Spanish and English explorers in the 1500s and 1600s. Captain James Cook, while looking for the Northwest Passage charted some of the Oregon coastline in 1778. The Lewis and Clark expedition reached the Pacific Ocean from the Columbia River which traverses Oregon. Now, c'mon raise your hand if you have spent more time than you care to admit playing the Oregon Trail, which was one of the primary pioneer routes to the West. The state became prominent in the fur trade and John Jacob Astor's fur trading post, Astoria, was established in 1811. Today, Oregon is the leading producer of grass (the kind you walk on - not the kind you smoke), peppermint oil, and Christmas trees.  If one travels to Portland, you will find yourself in the US city with the most breweries in the country.

Oregon is a popular destination for Hollywood filmmakers as well - some of the movies filmed in Oregon include: Animal House, Free Willy, The General, The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Stand By Me.

The current Governor of Oregon is Democrat John Kitzhaber. Both Senators for the state of Oregon are Democrats, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. The Congressional delegation has five members, all of which are Democrats but one.
  • State Capital - Salem
  • Largest city - Portland
  • Date of Admission - February 14, 1859
  • Area - 98,381 sq mi (9th) 
  • Population (2011 est.) - 3,871,859 (27th) 
  • State Motto - "Alis Volat Propiis" "She Flies With Her Own Wings" 
  • State Nickname - The Beaver State
  • State animal - beaver
  • State bird - Western meadowlark
  • State fish - Chinook salmon
  • State flower - Oregon grape
  • State nut - hazelnut
  • State tree - Douglas fir
  • State University - The University of Oregon is the state's flagship liberal arts university, while Oregon State University is the state's leading research institution.  The state's largest enrollment is at Portland State University.
  • Oregon State Archives 
  • The Oregon Historical Society 
Prominent Oregonians - (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)

Monday, August 20, 2012

National Lemonade Day

Today is evidently National Lemonade Day - according to this post on BuzzFeed.

Here's a recipe to celebrate from my neighbor's daughter who's the same age as LBA.  The post comes from the blog for our town's Community Market.

Maggie's Strawberry Lemonade
  • juice of 5 Meyer lemons
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • pulp of 12 strawberries
  • 4 c. cold water
  • ice
Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and strawberry pulp. Add water and ice. "You are ready to drink it now."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Minnesota - #32, May 11, 1858

The North Star State was claimed for Louis XIV in 1679 after having been visited by several French explorers.  What is now eastern Minnesota became part of the United States after the Revolutionary War and the remainder following the Louisiana Purchase.  The state is the northernmost of the contiguous United States, with land extending above the 49th parallel.  The state produces more the three quarters of the country's iron ore.  The "Twin Cities" area of Minneapolis-St. Paul (the state's largest city and state capital, respectively) are the trade center of the Midwest and is the nation's third-largest trucking center.

The current Governor of Minnesota is Democrat Mark Dayton. Dayton is linked to one of the Republican/Democrat "royal families" - he was married to Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV)sister, although he is currently divorced (from his second wife).  Both of the Senators for Minnesota are Democrats (the state has long been a democratic stronghold) - Al Franken (yes that Al Franken) and Amy Klobuchar. The Minnesota Congressional delegation has eight members and is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.
  • State Capital - Saint Paul
  • Largest city - Minneapolis
  • Date of Admission - May 11, 1858
  • Area - 86,939 sq mi (12th)
  • Population (2011 est.) - 5,344,861 (21st) 
  • State Motto - "L'Etoile du Nord" "The Star of the North" 
  • State Nickname - The North Star State / the Gopher State / Land of 10,000 Lakes
  • State bird - the common loon (no comment)
  • State fish - walleye
  • State flower - lady's slipper
  • State sport - ice hockey
  • State tree - Norway pine
  • State University - The University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers, baby!)
  • Minnesota State Archives (part of the MNHS)
  • The Minnesota Historical Society
Prominent Minnesotans - (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lemon Berry Crunch Cake

This is definitely a candidate for Mrs. BA to make for next year's bakeoff. The picture alone is intoxicating. Article from the Washington Post Food section, June 27, 2012.

Lemon Berry Crunch Cake
This dessert, perfect for a Fourth of July table, is David Hagedorn's interpretation of cakes made in the style of Christina Tosi, the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef at Momofuku Milk Bar in New York.

Her technique, outlined in her book, “Momofuku Milk Bar” (Clarkson Potter, 2011), involves constructing the cake inside a 6-inch cake ring lined with a tall plastic collar and then freezing it to set it. There are a lot of components to the cake; none are very time-consuming, but spreading out their preparation over several days, even weeks, makes the task of assembling the cake relatively simple.

You will need a quarter sheet pan (10 by 13 inches), a metal cake ring 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high, a 7-inch cardboard cake circle and two 20-inch-long strips of acetate (one to line the cake ring, the other to use as a collar), one 2 inches wide, one 4 inches wide.

Sheets of acetate are sold at office supply stores, but you can use sheet protectors taped together to give you the required length. Freeze-dried fruits are available at some Whole Foods Markets, at Shoppers Food and Pharmacy, at Trader Joe’s, on and on, which also sells them in powdered form.

MAKE AHEAD: The cake can be baked up to 5 days in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated. The blueberry syrup can be made a few days in advance. The lemon curd can be made 1 day in advance. The berry milk crumb can be made several days in advance and refrigerated, or made well in advance and frozen. The raspberry frosting can be made 1 or 2 days in advance and refrigerated, but it’s best to make it when you need it. The assembled cake must be frozen for at least 12 hours.
Makes one 6-inch layer cake (8 servings)

For the cake
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (may substitute canola oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brown butter (see NOTES)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 
For the syrup
  • 3 tablespoons blueberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon water 
For the lemon curd
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 large yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest plus 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons) 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice 
For the berry milk crumb
  • 3/4 cup powdered milk (nonfat)
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, melted 
  • 5 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry or cherry powder, from 1 cup freeze-dried raspberries or cherries (see NOTES)
  • 2 tablespoons freeze-dried blueberry powder, from 1/2 cup freeze-dried blueberries (see NOTES)
For the frosting
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 5 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry powder (from 1 cup freeze-dried raspberries; see NOTES)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a quarter sheet pan with nonstick cooking oil spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Stir together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Pour the buttermilk, grapeseed oil and vanilla extract into a small liquid-measuring cup. (The oil and milk will separate; that's okay.) Break the eggs into a separate small bowl.

Combine the butters and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for several minutes, until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the inside of the bowl. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated before adding the next one.  Stop to scrape down the inside of the bowl. On medium speed, beat for several minutes, until the mixture is lightened and fluffy.

Stop to scrape down the inside of the bowl. On low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture. The batter will look curdled at first. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the batter is light and, for the most part, homogenous. (It may still appear a bit separated.)

Reduce the speed to low and spoon in the flour mixture. Once all of the flour has been added, stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium-low for 30 seconds to incorporate all of the flour and eliminate any lumps. Use a flexible spatula to scrape the batter from the paddle, then run the spatula around the inside of the bowl and fold the batter once or twice to make sure it is smooth all the way through.

Spread the batter evenly in the quarter sheet pan, to the edges. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and its edges have pulled away slightly from the sides. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the syrup: Combine the blueberry preserves and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the mixture just begins to boil and the preserves are completely melted. Remove from the heat.

For the lemon curd: Whisk together the whole eggs and yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture thickens into a bright-yellow, loose custard.

Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, using a flexible spatula to press all of the curd through the mesh. Discard the solids from the strainer. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate until completely cooled.

For the berry milk crumb: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine 1/2 cup of the powdered milk, the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to form a clumpy, streusel-like consistency. Spread on the baking sheet; bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crumbs are off-white and dry. Let cool.

Transfer the cooled crumbs to a large bowl, breaking up any that are larger than pea-size. Toss with the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered milk. Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and stir until the crumbs are coated and have the texture of wet sand. Refrigerate the crumbs, stirring every few minutes, until the chocolate has completely set, 10 to 15 minutes. Toss the crumbs with the fruit powders until they are well coated and have a nice purplish hue. Cover; refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

For the frosting: Combine the butter, confectioners' sugar and raspberry powder in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium-low speed until the mixture begins to come together. Slowly add the cream. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed, then increase to medium-high, for about 2 minutes, until the frosting is light, fluffy and smooth.

To assemble: Use the metal cake ring to cut two rounds of cake as close to the edges and to each other as possible. Make sure that you cut the cake all the way through and that the layers are loosened from the bottom of the lined pan. (Sweep the blade of a large metal spatula underneath them to make sure.)

The bottom layer of the cake will be formed using the remaining scraps. Use the cake ring as a guide to cut two crescent-shaped scraps of cake.

Wipe the circle clean and place it on the 7-inch cardboard cake circle. Line the inside of the ring with a 2-by-20-inch strip of acetate. Fit the crescent-shaped pieces of cake into the ring, then cut scraps to fill any holes. Brush the surface with the syrup. Use a small offset spatula to spread 1/2 cup of lemon curd evenly over the layer.

Sprinkle the layer evenly with 1/2 cup of the crumb. Spread a third of the raspberry frosting over the crumb. (Take your time so the crumb doesn’t mix with the frosting. The best way is to place dollops of frosting all around the inside of the cake ring about 1/2 inch apart. Then use a clean offset spatula to spread the frosting into a thin layer from the outside working in, adding a spoonful or two in the center if necessary.)

Add the collar to the ring by slipping the 4-by-20-inch piece of acetate behind the top of the strip lining the ring. Press the collar down enough to secure it.

Carefully add the second cake layer and press down lightly until it is snug. Brush with syrup and spread with 1/2 cup lemon curd, 1/2 cup crumb and a third of the frosting.

Add the top layer and press it down lightly until it is snug. Brush the cake with the remaining syrup and spread the last third of the frosting evenly over the top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of berry milk crumb over the cake. Loosely cover the top of the cake with plastic wrap and transfer the cake to the freezer for at least 12 hours. (There will be some berry crumb left over. Freeze it for future use.)

Remove the cake from the freezer at least 3 1/2 hours before serving. Have a cake stand or serving plate at hand.

Lift the cake off the cardboard cake circle (a metal spatula helps) and hold it in the palm of your hand. Gently push the cake ring down, toward your elbow, to dislodge it from the cake, and then place the cake on the stand. Peel off and discard the acetate collar and the strip that lined the ring. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

NOTES: To brown butter, place 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe glass bowl, cover and and cook on HIGH for 3 to 5 minutes, until the butter is dark brown and you can see specks of toasted milk solids throughout. The bowl will be quite hot; remove it carefully from the oven and allow to cool. The yield is about 2 tablespoons.

To make fruit powder, use a small food processor to pulverize freeze-dried fruit.

Recipe Source: The cake and berry milk crumb are adapted from Tosi's “Momofuku Milk Bar." The lemon curd is adapted from a recipe by Molly O’Neill. The raspberry frosting is from The Process columnist David Hagedorn.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

California - #31, September 9, 1850

It is appropriate that we have reached California this week.  I am actually in the state, attending the SAA Annual Meeting in lovely San Diego.  I'm having a lovely time and (so far) the conference is informative.  And I had an amazing dinner last night with tableside Bananas Foster.

I have only been to the Golden State a few times but it is a great state.  Being in San Diego with its great weather, reminds me that I could live out here.  But it is also disconcerting to be three hours behind Mrs. BA and the boys back home.

The state of California has the lowest point in the nation, Death Valley, in the southeast, which is 282ft below sea level.  Mt. Whitney (14,491 ft) is the highest point in the contiguous 48 states.   Lassen Peak is one of two active U.S. volcanoes outside of Alaska and Hawaii; its last eruptions were recorded in 1917.

The State of California is the only state to have hosted both the Winter (Squaw Valley in 1960) and Summer Olympics (Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984).  California has nineteen major league sports franchises, more than any other state by far.  If California were its own country it would be the eighth largest economy in the world.

For being the most populous of all the states, it boasts only one native-born President, Richard Nixon.  His presidential library is located in San Clemente, where Nixon grew up.  Also found in California is the Illinois-born Ronald Reagan Presidential LibraryGerald Ford also spent most of his post-presidential career in California.

The current Governor of California is Democrat Jerry Brown, a true character in American politics. The Senators for California are Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. The California Congressional delegation has 53 members, the largest of any state.  There are 34 Democrats and 19 Republicans.
  • State Capital - Sacramento
  • Largest city - Los Angeles
  • Date of Admission - September 9, 1850
  • Area - 163,696 sq mi (3rd)
  • Population (2011 est.) - 37,691,912 (1st) (it is also greater than all but 34 countries)
  • State Motto - "Eureka"
  • State Nickname - The Golden State
  • State animal - grizzly bear
  • State bird - valley quail
  • State flower - golden poppy
  • State tree - California redwood
  • State University - The University of California
  • State Archives - California State Archives
  • The State Historical Society of California
Prominent Californians- (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)

Monday, August 6, 2012

It Was a Dark and Stormy Kind of Night

I'm off tomorrow to the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists in San Diego, CA.  I'm sure there will be drinking.  Here's two of my favorite recipes for what I might drink this week.

Dark and Stormy
(from Rachel Ray)
  • Ice 
  • 1/4 lime 
  • 2 ounces dark rum (recommended: Goslings Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum) 
  • 10 ounces of ginger beer (recommended: Milligan's Island Tropical Mango Ginger Beer) 
  • Lime wedge, for garnish, optional

Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice. Squeeze the lime wedge over the ice in the glass. Drop the wedge into the glass. Pour the rum into the glass. Add the ginger beer. Stir lightly and garnish with another lime wedge, if desired.

* Restaurant Recipe This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. Food Network Kitchens have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.

Philadelphia Fish House Punch
This was the featured cocktail at Jose Andres's America Eats Tavern and was also present at the exhibition opening for "What's Cooking Uncle Sam."  I may have been overserved on that evening.  From the Washington Post Food Section.

The recipe can be scaled up as needed to fill a punch bowl.
1 serving

  • Ice
  • 1 ounce Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica rum 
  • 1/2 ounce peach brandy 
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (not the liquid from maraschino cherries) 
  • 1/2 ounce brewed, cooled green tea 
  • 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup (see NOTE) 
  • Lemon wheel, for garnish 
  • Mint sprig, for garnish

Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the rum, peach brandy, maraschino liqueur, green tea, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously, then strain into a punch cup filled with ice (if desired).

Garnish with the lemon wheel and sprig of mint.

NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container and let cool to room temperature. Cool completely before using or storing in a glass jar in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 4 weeks.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wisconsin - #30, May 29, 1848

The state of Wisconsin is the country's leading producer of dairy products - one of its other nicknames is "America's Dairyland."  Recreationally, the state has over 14,000 lakes and water sports, ice-boating, and fishing are popular, as are skiing and hunting. The state has 95 state parks, forests, and recreation areas that take up one-seventh of the state's land.  The state's water covers 11,188 square miles, more than all but Alaska, Michigan, and Florida.

Wisconsin has been a pioneer in social legislation, providing pensions for the blind (1907), aid to dependent children (1913), and assistance to seniors (1925). In labor legislation, the state was the first to enact an unemployment compensation law (1932) and the first in which a workman's compensation law actually took effect. In 1984, Wisconsin became the first state to adopt the Uniform Marital Property Act.  The state has a long history of Progressivism led by the fiery Robert "Fightin' Bob" LaFollette, Sr.

The current Governor of Wisconsin is Republican Scott Walker.  Walker faced a recall election earlier this year after pushing through legislation limiting union influence, but survived. The Senators for Wisconsin are split by the ideological aisle, Ron Johnson (R) and Herb Kohl (D). The Wisconsin Congressional delegation is also relatively equally split, with eight members, three Democrats and five Republicans.
  • State Capital - Madison
  • Largest city - Milwaukee
  • Date of Admission - May 29, 1848 (hey, look it's right there on the flag)
  • Area - 65,497 sq mi (23rd)
  • Population (2011 est.) - 5,711,767 (20th) 
  • State Motto - "Forward" 
  • State Nickname - The Badger State
  • State animal - badger
  • State bird - robin
  • State flower - wood violet
  • State tree - sugar maple
  • State beverage - milk
  • State domestic animal - dairy cow (remember it's America's Dairyland)
  • State University - The University of Wisconsin
  • State Archives - part of the Wisconsin Historical Society
  • The Wisconsin Historical Society
Prominent Wisconsinites- (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)
The State of Wisconsin is featured prominently in fiction and in American Culture.  The TV shows, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and That 70s Show were all set in Wisconsin.  The soap operas, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless also star the Badger State.  Barbie, Paul Bunyan, Jack Dawson, Roz Doyle, and Donna Moss were all fictional characters with Wisconsin "backstories."